Synopsis by Mark Deming
Three Aboriginal teenagers growing up in Northern Australia come together as they deal with the responsibilities of their shared cultural background and their individual emotional issues. Lorrpu (John Sebastian Pilakui) has a deep respect for his Aborigine heritage and wants to learn more about the history and customs of his people; he also begins negotiating the tricky path of romance when he meets Yuwan (Lirrina Mununggurr), a girl his age taking a vacation from school. Two of Lorrpu's best friends are Milika (Nathan Davis), who is more interested in football than his cultural heritage, and Botj (Sean Mununggurr), a troubled youth with a criminal record and little interest in changing his ways. Much of Botj's rage comes from the fact that he never knew his father, who abandoned his family when Botj was an infant; when Botj discovers that his father is living 300 miles away in the city of Darwin, he and his friends leave their village behind and set out to find him, first by canoe and later on foot. Originally produced for broadcast by the Australian Children's Television Foundation, Yolngu Boy earned a theatrical release in Oz prior to its television premiere.